Security Knowledge Center
How-to guides, tips and more to help you stay safe online.
Upbeat music plays throughout.
Onscreen text: CYBER-SAVVY TIPS FROM SCHWAB
An animation of an older, white-haired woman speaking.
WOMAN: Scammers and fraudsters are constantly trying to take advantage of people like us. They must think we’re really gullible. That’s why it’s up to all of us to be the first line of defense to help protect our own assets.
An email appears that takes up the whole screen. It shows an underlined link.
The animated woman appears on the screen as if she’s inside the email.
WOMAN: You might get an email that looks urgent, or like it’s from a legitimate source. It’ll often have a link they hope we’ll click on. But look closely at the sender’s name, and hover over the link. There could be dead giveaways that it’s fake, like typos and errors.
The woman points to some of the typos in the body of the mail, then at the link.
WOMAN: If you click on the link, it might download a virus or malware into your computer to steal your info.
The woman grabs the link, looks at it disapprovingly, crumples it up, and tosses it in a trash can.
WOMAN (offscreen): So if you see typos in your email, trash it.
Onscreen text: SchwabSafe™
WOMAN: The Schwab Security Guarantee can provide some additional protection, but we’ve all got to be on our toes when we’re online.
Onscreen text: Schwab.com/SchwabSafe
WOMAN (offscreen): Learn more about online security and the Schwab Security Guarantee at Schwab.com/SchwabSafe.
Onscreen text: [Schwab logo] Own your tomorrow®
©2020 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). All rights reserved. Member SIPC.
CC4547201 (1020-018C) (09/20)
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Top 5 anti-phishing tips
- Don't click on links or attachments included in unknown or suspicious emails and texts.
- Hover over links to reveal the website's URL and see where the link really goes.
- Be suspicious of emails that have grayed out "CC:" and "To:" lines as they may have been sent to a mass distribution list.
- Check the sender's domain name in the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure it matches what you'd expect to see.
- Create two email accounts, one for personal and a second for more public distribution; use spam filters on both.
Top 5 tips for avoiding scams
- Always verbally verify money movement instructions with the recipient and ask for supporting documentation.
- Perform your own due diligence. Research the recipient/product/person to validate the legitimacy of the request or search for scams/complaints associated with the other party.
- Use appropriate disbursement channels/methods to make payments. Avoid prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and digital currency.
- When you can, view goods in person, pay after services are completed, and send money only to people you've met in person.
- Use services that have purchase protection and/or an escrow service, especially for high-dollar transactions.
Top 4 actions to take when encountering fraud or identity theft.
- Immediately report the fraud or identity theft to your financial institution and follow any instructions they provide regarding your account.
- Contact the fraud department of your creditors, such as credit card issuers, phone companies, banks, and lenders to dispute unauthorized charges.
- Report the crime to your local police. Even though the incident may cross multiple jurisdictions, your local police will file a formal report and refer you to additional resources and agencies that can help.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to request a fraud alert on your account and a freeze on your credit report. Dispute any fraudulent activity on your credit report. Contact information for all three credit bureaus is provided below.
Visit our video library
Visit the SchwabSafe video library for tips and tutorials on how to stay safe against scammers.